October 21

Religious Grooming and Clothing in the Workplace

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines are mandatory reading for you if you are an employer covered by Title VII or an employee that follows religious prescriptions. Some examples of religious dress and grooming that are discussed in the guidelines include Christian crosses, a Muslim hijab, Sikh turbans and kirpans, uncut hair and beards, Rastafarian dreadlocks, or Jewish peyes.

In most cases employers covered by Title VII must make exceptions to their usual rules or preferences to permit applicants for jobs and employees to follow religious dress and grooming practices, unless those dress and grooming requirements pose an “undue hardship” on the employer. If these issues affect you please review the guidelines and call me if you have any issues or questions.

The publication by the EEOC makes good reading even if you don’t have religious garb and grooming issues at your workplace because it is a fascinating accommodation of religious rights and employer rights.

Additionally, the EEOC guidelines explicitly protect new and individual belief systems that are explicitly not recognized by the public at large or may not have adherents other than a particular job applicant or employee. Let your imagination run wild with that for a moment.

October 17

Michigan SB 0704

SB 704 took effect on September 30, 2014. This new pharmacy law will have a big impact on your practice, particularly if you do compounding. If you are a pharmacist-in-charge (PIC) you will be impacted in a major way because you will be taking on more responsibility to ensure your pharmacy is operating within the Pharmacy Practice Act and Rules. There is an additional requirement that the PIC work an “average of eight hours a week” at each pharmacy the person is registered as a PIC. The word average is interesting. Is the eight hour a week average to be calculated on a yearly basis, or monthly?

Even more controversially, the new act prescribes criminal punishment for violation of the new compounding rules and depending on whether there is a personal injury to a patient, the prison time varies from two to 15 years as well as fines.

As you might imagine this law was engendered by the NECC contaminated sterile injection fiasco. Yes, I intended the non sequitur with the sterile and contaminated.

Call me for a consultation regarding compliance with the new law and your personal circumstances.